Macquarie president Ross McDermott feels some of the club’s senior players have “let down” rookie coach Dylan Hill in what has been a disappointing season for the Raiders up to this point.
The expectations were high heading into the season but McDermott said 26-year-old Hill has no reason to fear for his job.
The Raiders haven’t won since May 13 and a loss in the next two crucial games could all but end the side’s finals hopes.
Club president Ross McDermott admits it’s not a situation he thought the club would be in before the season began, however, he feels the issue has been with some of the senior players and not the young coach.
“It was always going to be a three-year thing,” McDermott said, having appointed Hill to the head job during the off-season.
“It’s been a lot harder than I thought, my expectations were a lot higher but the reality is we need a big culture change.”
McDermott has seen first-hand the work Hill and much of the squad has been putting in this season but he said the message being put through to the team on the training paddock wasn’t being put into action on the field.
The Raiders began relatively well, winning two of the first three games, but the only point since came after a draw at Nyngan.
It’s been a lot harder than I thought, my expectations were a lot higher.Macquarie Raiders president Ross McDermott
“You can’t knock him (Hill) for his first crack,” McDermott said.
“Some of the senior players have let him down and we’ve spoken to them about that. We’ve had some hiccups.
“You can’t blame Dylan Hill for that. We’re all right behind him and it’s about getting all the players to follow him and play better football.”
Despite the woes, the Raiders sit just two points off the top five with four rounds remaining.
In the next two weeks Macquarie plays host to Westside and Nyngan, the two sides directly above it on the ladder, and the results in those games are likely to decide the finals make-up.
McDermott pointed to the fact up to seven players under the age of 20 have been part of the first grade side as a reason behind the side’s trouble finding wins and he hinted one or two more senior players could be targeted as signings next season.
They would be brought in to help develop the culture McDermott, Hill and the Raiders want, with the president pointing to CYMS as a club they should be aspiring to.
While it hasn’t been ideal in first grade up to now, the Raiders’ reserve grade side sits top of the ladder while the under 18s and league tag sides sit in fifth spot on their respective ladders.
“The good part (about reserves) is there’s a couple of blokes, Jacob Phillips and Layne Searle, who are starting to help first grade and put some pressure on,” McDermott said.
“We’ve been strong in reggies for a couple of years and they’re a good mob of blokes playing for the right reason.”